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Important Maintenance Tasks for Restaurants in Fargo-Moorhead

Monday, November 8th, 2021

Restaurant owners in Fargo-Moorhead and across the country have faced a number of challenges over the past year and a half. Many have dealt with frequent and lengthy closures, staff shortages, and implementing new safety protocols and equipment. Understandably, this means many of the regular maintenance tasks restaurants require might not have been prioritized when so many other things were going on. 

The problem is, without proper maintenance, this can leave restaurant owners vulnerable to financial loss if they need to make a commercial insurance claim. 

Important Restaurant Maintenance Tasks

Many losses aren’t covered if they are deemed the result of a lack of regular maintenance. As such, this means your damages might not be covered in the event of a commercial insurance claim. With that in mind, let’s go over some of the regular restaurant maintenance tasks to be sure you’re up to date! 

HVAC and Refrigeration 

Preventative maintenance should be performed at least every three months. This means tasks like checking the motors, changing the filters, cleaning condenser coils, checking temperature control settings.

Plumbing 

On at least a semi-annual basis, be sure to perform drain flushing and hot water tank maintenance.

Grease Traps 

Depending on the food your restaurant serves, maintenance schedules can vary and may need to be done on a weekly or monthly schedule. This includes the collection and recycling of grease trap waste by pumping or vacuuming and changing grease trap gasket.

Equipment Maintenance 

Make sure your equipment is inspected every three months and preventative maintenance is performed just as often. This includes equipment cleaning, checking the pilot lights (flame), and testing equipment.

Pest Control

Depending on where your business operates, there are different requirements for regular pest control. This is mandatory, as required by your local food safety regulatory authorities. This type of maintenance and prevention program includes preventing pests from entering properties, detecting and eliminating pests, and preventing food contamination.

Learn More About Commercial Insurance in Fargo-Moorhead

We’ve talked about some of the most important maintenance tasks you need to keep up with as a restaurant owner. But don’t forget another critical task: ensuring your restaurant is protected with adequate business insurance! If you’d like to learn more about this coverage, contact Fargo-Moorhead Insurance today so we can help. 

Top Tips for Reducing Job Site Theft

Monday, October 11th, 2021

Not only is job site theft inconvenient and unsettling, but it also costs business owners millions of dollars each year across the United States. While there may never be a way to provide 100% security against job site theft, there are still many things that can be done to reduce the likelihood of this happening at your business. 

Tips for Preventing Job Site Theft

  • Each night, even when everyone leaves, be sure to keep the lights on. Even if you’re not on site, lighting is important because it can help deter would-be thieves. At the same time, it makes them easier to identify on security cameras. 
  • Put up signs around the site that state “authorized personnel only”. While not a fool-proof method, it can help keep certain people out that shouldn’t be in or around your job site. 
  • Put up security cameras, a security barrier, and consider hiring security guards for time where you aren’t on the job site. Security guards are certainly an investment, but they also help you protect your investments in equipment and other material that could be stolen.
  • Store materials in a secured and locked location whenever possible. 
  • Make sure to have an updated inventory of all of your old and newly purchased equipment so you can keep track of what you have. Your inventory can also be useful in identifying what’s missing as well as providing proper documentation to insurance companies if you need to make a claim for theft. 
  • Consider implementing a check out system for any company equipment so you know who is responsible for returning what pieces. Implementing these programs can take time and have some bumps along the way, but they can pay off in a big way too! These systems help increase accountability among team members and also demonstrate that you keep a close eye on who is using what. 

Insurance is the Best Protection

Like we said, there’s no fool-proof way to avoid all job site theft. That’s why the best protection you can offer you and your business is commercial insurance. With the right insurance in place, you can be sure to receive the proper financial compensation in the event theft does happen at your business. Call us today to find out what this insurance would look like for your business.

Small Business Loss Prevention Tips You Can’t Afford to Miss

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

As a small business owner, loss prevention is always at the front of your mind. Unfortunately, shoplifting still costs US retailers about $61.7 billion each year and these numbers aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Small Business Loss Prevention Tips

With that in mind, this post is going to cover some business loss prevention tips you (and your business) can’t afford to miss.

Optimize Your Store’s Layout

It might be time to rethink the layout of your store if you’re regularly dealing with shoplifting at your retail locations. Moving the checkout closer to the entrance/exit is a good place to start. It might also be worth getting locked displays for high value items, and switching to lower display shelves that don’t disrupt your line of vision. 

Employee Training

Do your employees know how to spot suspicious behavior and stop shoplifting in its tracks? If not, it’s time to invest in this training! Make sure your team also knows what to do when they suspect shoplifting, as well as how to use the security system and alarms.

Install a Security System

On that note, be sure you have a security system in the first place. Although it requires an initial investment, this will pay off in spades down the road. Not only can it reduce business loss, but it can also help you save money on your commercial insurance policy. On top of installing a security system, make sure you advertise that security measures are in place, as this is a helpful crime deterrent in and of itself. 

Require Receipts for Returns

Regularly having customers return items without receipts? There’s a significant chance some of these items could have been stolen, and these customers are “returning” them to make a profit. If this is an issue in your business, it could be time to start making receipts mandatory if a customer wants to return an item.
It’s also incredibly important to have the right commercial insurance coverage in place to help mitigate any business losses. If you’re interested in learning more about the options that might be right for you, contact us today for help!

Reasons Your Business Needs Cyber Coverage

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Is cyber risk coverage really something that should be included in your insurance policy? This is a big question many business owners ask themselves. The problem is, if they don’t ask this question in time, they risk serious financial consequences as a result of a cyber breach. 

Unfortunately, with so many data breaches and cyber attacks over the last year, it’s more important to ask this question than ever.

Reasons Your Business Needs Cyber Coverage

Here are five big reasons your business needs cyber coverage: 

  1. Media liability: This type of cyber risk coverage helps you in the event a data breach leads to intellectual property infringement. It includes things such as online advertising and printed advertising.
  2. Privacy: Your customer’s and employee’s information is sensitive information! If that information is to become exposed in a data breach you could be the one liable. This type of coverage will protect you in this type of situation.
  3. Network security: If your network security is to fail and something like a malware infection, data breach or cyber extortion is to happen, you could be on the hook. This would cover the costs of things such as credit monitoring or legal expenses.
  4. Business interruption: Your business could experience operational issues in the event a cyber threat takes place. This coverage can help you with any lost profits.
  5. Errors and omissions: It’s possible that a cyber attack could prevent your business from fulfilling any contractual operations, which this type of coverage helps you with! It would take care of any of the allegations of negligence or legal defense costs that could come about.

Still have questions about cyber risk coverage? Get in contact with the team at Fargo Moorhead Insurance today to get the answers you’re looking for! We are commercial insurance brokers in North Dakota and Minnesota offering competitive commercial insurance rates while keeping your primary business coverage needs in mind.

If you want to learn even more about cyber risk coverage, here are three more posts to read next:

Tips for Calculating Business Income for Commercial Insurance

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

Depending on how much your business earns, you’ll need different levels of insurance coverage. This is why you’ll need to provide your business income when you buy commercial insurance. Calculating this number accurately will help ensure you’re getting the right amount of coverage for your unique business and needs.

Here are some tips for calculating business income for a commercial insurance policy.

Calculating Business Income for Commercial Insurance

This starts with a simple equation: Business income = revenue – expenses

  • You need to start by calculating your business revenue. 
  • Then, you’ll subtract your business’s expenses and operating costs from total revenue.
  • This gives you your business’s earnings before tax. 
  • Now it’s time to subtract taxes from this number.

Finally, you’re left with your business’ net income. Using this number, you can predict your expected revenue for the upcoming 12 months and make sure you get enough commercial insurance. 

What Does Commercial Insurance Cover? 

It’s important to have enough commercial insurance because without it, you could be left paying a number of hefty bills on your own. 

Here are some of the things commercial insurance can cover in the event of a loss, a shutdown, or other unexpected circumstances:

  • Utility bills
  • Taxes
  • Payroll
  • Lost profits
  • Property rent or mortgages

There are also a number of types of commercial insurance meant to cover different things for business not related to shutting down. For example, if your business uses vehicles for their operations, commercial auto insurance is a must. 

How Much Does Business Insurance Cost? 

Because commercial insurance policies vary so widely from business to business based on their needs, so do the costs of these policies. For example, if your business earns $100,000 per year and only uses one vehicle for its operations, it will likely cost less to insure than a multi-million dollar business with a fleet of vehicles to insure. 
No matter what kind of business you own and what kind of coverage you need, Fargo Moorhead Insurance is here to help! Call us today so we can find you a policy with the coverage that’s right for you.

What is Business Income Insurance?

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Do you own a business in the Fargo Moorhead area? It’s time to start thinking about business income insurance if you haven’t yet!

What is business income insurance?

This type of business insurance is meant to cover losses related to an interruption of your regular business income. For example, if you have a restaurant that is forced to shut down due to a fire, business income insurance could provide you with the income you would have earned during the time your business is shut down. 

But keep in mind, this coverage only applies if the business is forced to shut down due to a covered peril. For most businesses, that includes fire. But let’s say an earthquake happens and earthquakes are excluded from your policy. In that case, your business income insurance coverage would not apply. 

Do I need business income insurance?

Here are a few types of businesses that business income insurance is almost always recommended for:

  • Service-based businesses
  • Businesses that rely on physical or digital property too earn an income
  • Retail businesses with brick and mortar and online shops

What other types of business insurance do I need?

Every business is unique, which is why their business insurance policies should also be unique! Policies should be tailored to a business’s unique needs to make sure they have the coverage they need for whatever could happen. 

Some businesses benefit from virtually all types of business insurance, while others might pick and choose from different options. 

Here are some of those options that might be right for you:

  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Cybersecurity insurance
  • Business liability insurance
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • Management and professional liability
  • Employment practices liability
  • Commercial flood insurance
  • Surety and fidelity bonds
  • Home-based business insurance

Choosing commercial insurance in Fargo-Moorhead

No matter what combination of commercial coverage is right for your business, we can help you find a policy that suits your business and your budget. Give Fargo-Moorhead Insurance a call today so we can get to know you and your business!

Preventing a Sewer Backup at Your Business

Monday, January 4th, 2021

A sewage backup can be devastating for a business. Not only can it destroy your inventory, but it can also damage your property and even force your business to shut down. And in this economic climate, if a sewer backup makes your business shut down even for just a few days, this can be enough to put you out of business altogether. 

To reduce the chances of this happening at your business, let’s talk about  some of the causes and signs of a sewer backup, as well as what you can do to prevent them. 

What is a Sewer Backup?

When a sewer pipe becomes clogged or damaged, it can block the regular flow of the pipes. With nowhere to go, raw sewage then backs up until your building. And as you can imagine, this can cause incredible damage. 

Is Your Business at Risk of a Sewer Backup?

Your business could be at risk of sewer back up if:

  • Toilets are gurgling after flushing or are difficult to flush
  • You, your employees, or your customers have noticed sewer line-related odours (including sulphur)
  • Plumbing fixtures are clogged or drain slowly

Common Causes of Sewer Backups in Businesses

If you’ve started noticing some of the signs of a sewer backup, you might be wondering what caused it in the first place. 

Here are some of the common causes of sewer backups in commercial properties: 

  • Soil settlement in and around the property
  • Cracked pipes, including damage from tree roots
  • Grease build-up
  • Inadequate cleaning and maintenance (this is particularly common in high-traffic businesses)

Avoiding Sewer Backups

First things first: make sure your business’ sewer and plumbing systems are inspected at least once a year!

You’ll also want to consider using a water pressure reducing valve to limit an unnecessary stress on your property’s system. Make sure there’s clear signage in all of the bathrooms in your business that make it clear what can and cannot be flushed. 

Do you have all your bases covered when it comes to risks and potential damages to your business? Be sure to check your commercial insurance policy to make sure you’re covered for any unexpected things that can happen at your business. Give us a call today to learn more.

Insurance for Christmas-Based Businesses

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

As a holiday or Christmas-based business, you likely have an exciting season ahead! Don’t let yourself get caught in a sticky situation throughout the busy season, and make sure that you have the proper commercial insurance coverage in place.

What insurance should I have in place?

The most common type of insurance for business owners to have in place is general liability insurance. This type of insurance covers risks associated with bodily injury, property damage, medical payments, personal injury and legal defense.

While you’re not legally required to have this type of insurance in place, it’s highly recommended. As things become busier for your business, the chances of damages like these happening only becomes higher. 

Having the proper protection in place will save you a lot of time and money in the long run if these situations occur.

How much does general liability insurance cost?

Factors that go into determining your general liability insurance cost include location, number of employees, deductible, general aggregate limit, and per-occurrence limit. 

But on average, small Christmas-based businesses will generally spend somewhere between $400-$700 per year on general liability insurance.

Other types of coverage for Christmas-based businesses

In addition to general liability insurance, busy Christmas-based businesses should consider professional liability insurance which provides coverage for mistakes while on the job. This could be by you or an employee.

Commercial auto insurance is also necessary to have in place for employees using their vehicles to get to and from job sites. This can cover at-fault accidents as well as vehicle repairs, property damage, and treating bodily injuries.

Lastly, home-based insurance may be relevant for businesses who operate their business from home. 

If a work-related accident is to take place at home, or an injury to take place on the property, home-based business insurance can help to cover the costs. Regular homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may not always cover these damages.

Don’t wait! Make sure you have the proper insurance in place for your Christmas-based business and have the holiday season you deserve.Contact us today to discuss your options!

Why Business Interruption Insurance is More Important Than Ever

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

We’re all aware of the unprecedented times we’re living in with COVID-19. As we have seen, things can change more quickly than we can predict which leaves a lot of uncertainty looming – especially for business owners.

What is Business Interruption Insurance?

The best thing owners can do for their businesses is to have business interruption insurance ready should the unexpected happen. If you are to experience a loss, business interruption insurance covers your business’s physical and virtual damage.

Business interruption insurance is key for industrial business owners, small business owners and multinational firms alike. 

It’s a critical element in your business plan as it can make all the difference in the case of a breakdown of your company’s IT systems. This could be accidental, but it could also be from a virus.

Why is Business Interruption Insurance Important?

As mentioned earlier, business interruption insurance is crucial in today’s climate. COVID-19 has shown us that interruptions are possible and that we are vulnerable to the unexpected.

This means that it’s important for business owners to think about what would happen if their business were to close or slow down. A risk management strategy has proven to be essential as it is the key solution to business interruption.

What Does Business Interruption Insurance Cover?

Business interruption insurance will work to keep your business operational both short and long-term. It can cover the loss of income during repairs as well as business costs.

When you are ready to transition your business to reopening, BI insurance can also assist in making the process smooth. 

You might need to extend your insurance to include expenses for coverage of costs that are extra in terms of your normal operating expenses. This is also relevant should you need to cover expenses related to moving to a temporary location.

Business interruption insurance will vary depending on your expectations and required coverage. It’s best to consult with your broker to ensure you have the proper coverage for your needs.

Ready to explore your business interruption insurance coverage options? Call us today for a quote!